Imugene reveals positive trial, Evolution Mining downgrades gold production forecast and BHP announces ‘nature positive’ pledge

Imugene IMU positive trial Evolution Mining EVN gold production BHP ALS ALQ HRL Macquarie Group MQG ASX
During a phase 2 trial, patients treated with Imugene’s HER-Vaxx were found to have a 41.5% reduced risk of death compared to chemotherapy alone.

Imugene’s (ASX: IMU) share price rocketed this week following the announcement its lead candidate HER-Vaxx increased the survival rate in patients with advanced gastric cancer.

The clinical stage immuno-oncology company announced positive survival rates for its HER-Vaxx drug during a phase 2 clinical trial.

HER-Vaxx is a B-cell immunotherapy candidate used for the treatment of tumours over-expressing the HER-2/neu protein.

During the trials, patients treated with HER-Vaxx were found to have a 41.5% less chance of death in comparison to those with chemotherapy alone.

In simpler terms, the average survival for patients treated was 13.9 months compared to 8.3 months for those treated with just chemotherapy.

The trial successes also found that there was no further toxicity associated with the use of HER-Vaxx when combined with chemotherapy.

Imugene chief executive officer Leslie Chong said trial outcome was a significant milestone for patients with advanced gastric cancer.

“The final analysis favoured the survival outcome for HER-Vaxx, and I note the Independent Data Monitoring Committee previously suggested to shorten the study by lowering the number of patients,” she said.

Evolution Mining

Evolution Mining (ASX: EVN) has downgraded gold production guidance for FY2022 ending 30 June and has shelved its planned multi-million dollar expansion at the Mungari mine site in Western Australia.

The company revised its production guidance for the year to 640,000 ounces, which is lower than the 650,000oz forecast issued back in April.

Due to weather conditions and COVID-19 related issues, it will be the fifth consecutive year Evolution has had to revise its gold production targets down.

The company reported that since WA’s borders opened in March, over 30% of its Mungari mine’s workers have experienced the seven days isolation period due to COVID-19.

On top of this, heavy rain stalled production at Evolution’s Cowal mining operations in New South Wales.

Delays to the company’s Red Lake mine transformation in Canada and the halted expansion at its Mungari operations were also contributors to the lower guidance.

Despite this, the company has declared the revised production figures still represented 25% growth in output over the next two years.

ALS

ALS (ASX: ALQ) has announced it has submitted an unsolicited, non-binding indicative all-cash offer to acquire 100% of HRL Holdings (ASX: HRL) at $0.16 per share.

Queensland-based laboratory giant ALS confirmed the news on Tuesday – reporting the two companies inked a process deed on 7 June.

As per the process deed, ALS was allowed to conduct due diligence and negotiation.

HRL reported in a statement that both parties are still in preliminary discussion stages and the parties are yet to reach any sort of agreement.

Advisors for the proposed transaction are Highbury Partnership and Baker & McKenzie.

Macquarie Group

Macquarie Group (ASX: MQG) has announced its raising $400 million in debt through the issue of capital notes, which will be listed on the ASX.

The company declared its intention to raise $400 million with the option to raise more or less, through offering Macquarie Group Capital Notes 6 (MCN6).

MCN6 are fully paid, unsecured, subordinated, non-cumulative, mandatorily convertible, perpetual, automatically convertible notes issued at a price of $100 each.

Distributing these notes comes as Macquarie aims to maintain diverse sources of funding.

It will apply for MCN6 to be quoted on ASX, with MCN6 expected to trade under ASX code MQGPF.

Investors will be able to apply only through a Syndicate Broker, with the offer open on 6 July and available to retail and institutional investors.

On top of this, Macquarie has also cut its dividend ratio to between 50-70% of earnings and launched a $1.5 billion institutional share placement in November 2021 in an effort to secure cash.

BHP

BHP Group (ASX: BHP) has pledged to conserve or rehabilitate 30% of the land it owns or manages around the globe by 2030 and strengthen its “social value” credentials through greater collaboration with Indigenous groups.

The mining giant operates on nearly 6 million hectares of land and water, with 2% directly impacted by its operations.

BHP chief legal, governance and external affairs officer Caroline Cox said the company would embrace the new goal in order to create “nature-positive” outcomes.

“Scientists tell us that to halt and reverse species loss and protect vital ecosystems that are the foundation of our economic security, we need to put nature on the road to recovery in the coming decade,” she said.

“This includes to protect at least 30% of the world’s land and ocean by 2030, and almost 100 countries around the world have already committed to this 30 by 30 challenge.”

BHP’s decision comes as mining companies face increasing pressures from the public to mitigate their impact on the environment.

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